Strictly Stasi
by Anthony Stasi
Aug 19, 2009 | 6362 views | 1 1 comments | 62 62 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nobody wants anyone else to go without healthcare. It is in the process where we disagree. The criticism that protesters at town hall meetings are enduring is not entirely fair. It matters not if there are conservative leaders encouraging it. People know that once a major federal step like nationalized health insurance is the law, it is not going away, even should it prove unsuccessful.

Regardless of whether this policy experiment works or not, one thing is certain: there will be people paid to oversee this policy. There will be government administrators, meaning there will be more government employees. Of course they will also have benefits, and retirement plans. All of this is to be expected, but it also means that if this healthcare plan does not work, it will be almost impossible to unravel.

Should we go into healthcare – or any legislative attempt – with skepticism? Perhaps we should be optimistic, but what is great about American policy is that it can change, and change back again if it needs to. If the federal government lays out a healthcare plan that gobbles up one-sixth of the economy, then it is safe to say that we should have an exit strategy if – after a few years – it proves inefficient.

The people protesting are within their rights to at least, respectfully, question and disagree. Those who are appalled by the protests seemed awfully quiet when the Republican National Convention – an “invitation only” event, mind you – gets interrupted by protesters constantly. (Not one conservative has disrupted, or attempted to disrupt, the Democratic National Convention inside their chosen venue in any recent year.) Suddenly, dissent and protesting seems less patriotic in the last eight months than it has been in the last eight years.

The Republican Party dropped the ball when it came to healthcare, and they had all the time and votes in their pockets to push good legislation through. They should have put legislation together that covered children. There is no reason to not cover children in this time in our history. A policy like that would have made the current president’s plan look like too much government – which it might be. But when his plan stands next to nothing, then it looks as though he is at least making the effort.

There are people that are the most vulnerable, children and seniors, for example, and these are populations that should be covered. People that are in between jobs should also be covered to some extent until they find appropriate work. But to tinker with what is already working for others might not be necessary. Until then, people are going to protest.

Can We Encourage a Culture of Less Sugar?

Governor Paterson walked away from some of his ideas about raising revenue through taxes earlier in the year. His idea to tax full sugar beverages was lambasted – not in this column, however. Raising taxes does not always raise revenue as much as freeing up the economy from taxes does. But the idea of zeroing in on full sugar beverages should not have been abandoned. We will soon either have government-sponsored health insurance, or some kind of hybrid that means that you and I will be paying for a lot of other people’s healthcare.

I don’t drink sugar beverages. I make my own juice from carrots, apples, and beets. Strange and disgusting, I know. But should I be paying for the healthcare of people that take no precaution at all?

While in the south this weekend, I went to a large supermarket. I was away from home, so I could not juice anything. But I bought a papaya anyway. The person at the register had no idea what it was.

“What is that green thing?” she asked me. “It’s fruit,” I told her. “There’s like a whole section of it here.” This was a young woman in her twenties or thirties, and looked as though she wouldn’t be able to identify many vegetables even if she needed to.

Sodas – loaded with high fructose corn syrup – do not dissolve into the body the way sodas used to when they were made with real sugar. This is raising our rates of diabetes by leaps and bounds. We have no real legislation that even tries to address this, yet politicians step over each other to regulate tobacco. Removing the sale of full-sugar drinks from all public buildings should be a first step.

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Audrae Erickson
August 20, 2009
High fructose corn syrup, sugar, and several fruit juices are all nutritionally the same.

High fructose corn syrup is simply a kind of corn sugar. It has the same number of calories as sugar and is handled similarly by the body.

The American Medical Association in June 2008 helped put to rest misunderstandings about this sweetener and obesity, stating that “high fructose syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.”

According to the American Dietetic Association, “high fructose corn syrup…is nutritionally equivalent to sucrose. Once absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners are indistinguishable.”

High fructose corn syrup offers numerous benefits. It keeps foods fresh. It enhances fruit and spice flavors. It retains moisture in bran cereals and helps keep breakfast bars moist.

In beverages, high fructose corn syrup provides greater stability in acidic carbonated beverages than sucrose and flavors remain consistent and stable over the entire shelf- life of the product.

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at

Audrae Erickson


Corn Refiners Association